University Slammed For ‘Blatantly Discriminatory’ Program

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) has been targeted with a civil rights complaint concerning a program aimed at “Black filmmakers, creative technologists, and artists.”

According to the complaint, the program, through its “creation, ongoing sponsorship, and active promotion” by the university, is in breach of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

William A. Jacobson, Cornell Law professor and founder, expressed in a statement that the U. Nebraska-Lincoln program’s reservation of a spot for black students to foster diversity leads to fewer opportunities for others. He asserted that this action contradicts the law, which has been clear for a long time that racial discrimination in education is illegal.

Jacobson also found it “offensive and troubling” that the program requires students to organize themselves around race, making them “complicit” in discrimination. He pointed out that the specific requirement for one black team member puts students in a position where they must make choices based on race.

The Equal Protection Project’s (EPP) recent action against the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is part of a series of actions that include a civil rights complaint against the University of Minnesota’s Multicultural Summer Research Opportunities Program, and the State University of New York at Buffalo’s School of Law for its Discover Law Undergraduate Scholars Program.

“ is committed to opposing all forms of racial discrimination, no matter who it is aimed at or who is supposedly benefiting from it. While the University of Nebraska-Lincoln claims to adhere to this principle in its anti-discrimination policies, it must demonstrate its commitment through actions and not merely words,” stated the organization.

The Equal Protection Project has previously lodged complaints against the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo over two pre-college medical science programs and SUNY Buffalo’s School of Law for allegedly giving admissions preference based on race and skin color.

In response, Melissa Lee, UNL’s Chief Communications Officer, told the DCNF, “We have not received a copy of the complaint from the Office for Civil Rights. When we do, we will respond appropriately.”